SOLTIMES JANUARY 2013
...remember to say you saw it in the SOL TIMES
THE SPAINIAC | Sobrino de Botín | Candice Parsons romantic painter.
Botín’s four floor tiled interior, boasts unique style throughout its wood-beamed vault dining rooms and brick-wall cellar, fitted with wrought-iron lanterns and various medieval decor. Its olden-day ambience is often further enhanced by the ‘tunas’ – student musical groups dressed in medieval costumes – who regularly stop by to perform. Whilst Botín’s is slightly more expensive to other comparable restaurants in Madrid, such as Casa Lucio and Posada de la Villa, the large serving portions of its meals along with the rest of its dining experience make the pricing well worth it. The average main course costs around 18 euros and a three-course meal is around 40 euros.
When strolling down Calle de los Cuchilleros, located south-west of Plaza Mayor amongst the heart of Madrid, it’s not difficult to miss the solid timber doors that form the entrance to the Guinness Book of Records world’s oldest restaurant. Built in the sixteenth century and originally named ‘Casa Botín’, the restaurant was founded in 1725 by Frenchman Jean Botin and his spouse. The couple’s nephew, Candido Remis, inherited the restaurant and changed its name to Sobrino de Botin (‘sobrino’ translating to ‘nephew’ in Spanish). In 1885, the González family acquired ownership of the restaurant, and have kept its now renowned name for three generations. Traditional dishes, such as black pudding from Burgos,
artichokes in batter, gazpacho, and garlic soup with egg to name a few – and of course not forgetting its specialty suckling pig – have only endorsed its popularity as a choice dining venue for local Madridians, but also royalty, politicians, authors and various celebrities. A number of famous novelists, one including Ernest Hemingway, have often referenced their dining experiences at Botín’s restaurant. In his 1926 novel, ‘The Sun Also Rises’, Hemingway mentions his experience lunching upstairs at Botin’s where he ate the legacy “roast young suckling pig and drank rioja alta”, and described it as “one of the best restaurants in the world.” Botín’s is also known to have once employed Francisco Goya to wash dishes, before he became a successful
Although bustling with a heavy tourist atmosphere, Sobrino de Botín is acclaimed for its peculiar decor, superior service, and skill in preparing quality food that remains typically true to Castilian cuisine. The restaurant’s touristic reputation is essentially an indication of its achievements, and an assertion of its place in providing excellent, traditionally Spanish dining experiences. As student travel guide Let’s Go described, Sobrino de Botín’s is a “truly authentic historical landmark and protector of the madrileño culinary tradition.” Candice Parsons is a writer and avid Spain and Spanish culture lover from Melbourne, Australia. ‘Like’ my Facebook page: www.facebook. com/pandemicrhapsody and follow me on Twitter @MiLlamoCandi
LEGAL CORNER WITH MICHAEL DAVIES, ABOGADO/SOLICITOR
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Q: DO I NEED A SPANISH WILL
A:YES...and here’s why... 1. Your estate will be left to the people of your choice and not to those determined by law 2.You can mitigate inheritance tax by planning the distribution of your estate. A will can be the single most cost-effective document you will sign during your lifetime. 3. You will have the peace of mind of knowing that things are in order for your heirs and that your heirs will not end up dealing with a complicated and costly procedure in a foreign country. I like the challenge of complicated inheritance work but we will never stop insisting that all our clients should make a Spanish will. Since setting up office in 1993, I have been surprised by the amount of people who have come to ask whether it is convenient to make a will in Spain concerning their Spanish assets. The answer to this is most definitely yes. In England if you do not make a will, then the law has rules, which will determine the distribution of your assets. These rules could mean that your assets are distributed in a way very different from what you would have liked. In Spain the situation is the same, with an additional factor. Your heirs will have to deal with a foreign language and legal system. All the more reasons to leave everything as organised as possible. Some people include their Spanish assets in their English will. This is legally binding, but to obtain probate in Spain, it will be necessary for the will to be translated and legalised. This is a long and costly procedure. My advice on the subject is to have two separate wills, one in England for your English assets and one in Spain for your Spanish assets. Drawing up a will in Spain does not take long and is not expensive, and will definitely save your heirs a lot of time, problems and money. Your Lawyer will draw up a rough draft, and then he will make an appointment at the notary to sign the final document. One copy is sent by the notary to the central register in Madrid. He will hold on to the original copy. You will be given a copy that I suggest you inform your heirs and lawyer in England about, and then put it in the bottom drawer, with the peace of mind of knowing that everything is taken care of. At Davies Solicitors we will listen to your wishes and advise you on the most tax efficient way of dealing with your Spanish estate. We will explain in detail the tax implications of your decisions for your heirs and ways to deal with it.We will prepare a will in both English and Spanish for signature and in general we will provide you the peace of mind of knowing that everything has been left organized for your heirs. Please call or email us for an appointment Michael Davies is a Spanish Abogado and has been practicing law in Almería since 1993. He is member of the Law societies of Almería and Madrid and has offices in Mojacar and Almeria High Street.